On April 4, 2017, Governor Hogan signed a bill banning fracking in Maryland. Thank you all for your support of this effort.Read More
Chesapeake PSR issued a Health and Energy Brief: The Health Effects of Fracking, outlining the adverse health impacts of allowing fracking in Maryland. The majority of hundreds of studies now link unconventional gas development and production, enabled by hydraulic fracturing or fracking, to asthma, premature births and low birth weights, increased hospitalizations, migraines and more. Also read their second issue paper, Fracking Regulations Cannot Protect Maryland.
Chesapeake PSR just issued its Health and Energy Brief: Fracking Regulations Cannot Protect Maryland on why regulations on unconventional gas development and production, commonly referred to as "fracking," cannot protect Maryland residents from fracking's environmental and health harms. A ban on fracking in Maryland is the only rational option. Please also read their first paper, The Health Effects of Fracking.
Maryland health professionals submitted a letter to Maryland legislative leaders urging the Maryland General Assembly to pass a ban on fracking in Maryland. More than 150 doctors, nurses, researchers and other health professionals stated their concerns about the significant health and environmental harms of allowing fracking to begin in the state. "We in the health community reject the industry’s push for short-term profits at the expense of long-term damage to public health and the environment," the letter stated.
Unconventional gas development and production (UGDP) enabled by high-volume hydraulic fracturing (widely known by the shorthand term, "fracking") currently is not allowed in Maryland because a moratorium passed in 2015. The moratorium expires next year and permits may be issued in October 2017 unless the Maryland General Assembly passes a ban in the next legislative session that begins in January.
"No regulatory framework can adequately protect either the environment or the health and safety of Maryland residents. As health professionals committed to preventing illness and promoting healthy communities, we call for a ban on unconventional gas development in Maryland," the letter stated. Read why Maryland fracking regulations cannot protect us.
• • •
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Katie Huffling, RN, MS, CNM
(240) 753-3729, katie@enviRN.org
Risk of Asthma Attacks Significantly Higher Among Patients Living Near Drilling and Fracking Operations
A new study by Johns Hopkins University researchers links fracking operations in Pennsylvania to increases in asthma attacks
Baltimore, MD – Researchers at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health published a new study in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Internal Medicine linking asthma attacks and proximity to drilling and fracking operations.
The analysis included more than 35,000 asthma patients ranging in age from five to ninety years old who live in the heavily fracked state of Pennsylvania. The study found that asthma attacks were 1.5-4 times more likely among asthma patients living closer to drilling and fracking operations than among asthma patients living farther away.
This study was published on the same day public comments were due on recently released issue papers from the Maryland Department of the Environment as they prepared to release regulations for fracking in Maryland. Evidence of the adverse health outcomes continue to mount where fracking is occurring.
“Asthma has an enormous impact on the quality of life of the over 24 million people in the United States with this disease. The total cost of treating asthma in the United States is over $60 billion annually and over $1 billion annually in Maryland, not including lost pay from missed work and school days,” said Lois Wessel, a family nurse practitioner with the Mid-Atlantic Center on Children’s Health and the Environment. “Healthcare providers continue to look at ways to decrease the impacts of asthma on our society. As this study highlights, continuing to keep fracking out of Maryland should be part of the public health agenda to reduce asthma’s toll in our communities.”
With only one legislative session left before the moratorium expires in Maryland, legislators must prevent fracking from beginning in our state. No regulatory framework has been shown to adequately protect public health.
• • •
Concerned Health Professionals of Maryland is a project of Chesapeake Physicians for Social Responsibility (Chesapeake PSR), with the support of the Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments and the Maryland Environmental Health Network and other health professionals concerned about the health impacts of fracking.
Available for interview: Katie Huffling, RN, MS, CNM, Director of Programs, Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments
(240) 753-3729, katie@enviRN.org
Press Release: Concerned Health Professionals of Maryland Send Letter to Hogan About Important New Water and Air Pollution Studies and Significant New Evidence of Harm
Annapolis, MD – Today, Concerned Health Professionals of Maryland (CHPMD) sent Governor Hogan a letter highlighting two alarming studies demonstrating the risks of fracking, both released in the past week. Last month, a two and a half year fracking moratorium (HB449/SB409) passed with an overwhelming majority in both houses of the Maryland Legislature. The bill has been on Governor Hogan’s desk since the end of the legislative session.
Read the letter here.
The letter states, “ Two new studies in the past two weeks, detailed below, add to the weight of the peer-reviewed evidence – now more than 450 studies, at least 75 percent of which have come out since January 2013 – indicating significant dangers, health impacts, and remaining uncertainties. “
“It seems that a new study comes out every week, further highlighting the risks that drilling and fracking pose to human health,” said Dr. Ann Bristow, commissioner on the previous administration’s Marcellus Shale Safe Drilling Initiative and member of CHPMD. “The evidence that fracking is harmful to our environment and health continues to emerge, and these two new studies are just the latest in a growing body of peer-reviewed research showing that fracking can contaminate the air, water and threaten our health.”
The letter also points to the “significant shortcomings” in Maryland's prior study of fracking, overseen by former Governor O'Malley. As the letter notes, two commissioners of the “Marcellus Shale Safe Drilling Initiative,” released a letter in January outlining the commission’s study did not incorporate a great deal of the recently-released studies exploring the health effects of fracking.
Two new studies were published just this week, one showing that air-pollution from fracking in neighboring Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia has contaminated the air across state lines into Maryland and other areas, and the other found a common drilling chemical in Pennsylvania drinking water. The first study was conducted by University of Maryland at College Park researchers and published in the journal Atmospheric Scientists. The second was from Penn State University researchers who tested water from three wells at homes near drilling and fracking sites in Bradford County, Pennsylvania, and was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Legislation has been introduced in the 2015 General Asssembly session to require an eight-year moratorium on fracking in MD. Health professionals have a critical role to play in educating colleagues and the general public about this legislation and are encouraged to become directly involved in communications with legislators.Read More
A long-term moratorium on fracking in Maryland should be one of the most important legislative priorities in Maryland’s 2015 legislative session.Read More
It was gratifying to see fellow members of Gov. Martin O'Malley's commission on hydraulic fracturing, Harry Weiss and Jeff Kupfer, take the time to explain their views on the former governor's proposals for new gas-drilling regulations.Read More
Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Wednesday announced a statewide ban on the extraction of natural gas using a controversial drilling process called hydraulic fracturing.Read More